On Wed, 25 Apr 2001, Jim Fehlinger wrote:
> Of course, the wish to avoid the unpleasantness surrounding
> death (on whichever side of it) can be written off as
> mere cowardice; but the belief that one's own personality
> is important enough to take extreme measures to preserve
> from nonexistence strikes me as -- unseemly, somehow.
> Maybe I feel that way for the same reason I'm not a fan
> of Ayn Rand, and maybe that feeling marks me out as somebody
> who doesn't **deserve** such perpetuation (that has a
> satisfyingly Darwinian ring to it!).
to me, being "important" really has little to do with it. i regard
my life as, generally speaking, a good thing (in the sense that chocolate
is good). so i think it stands to reason that i would choose my life over
nothing. my best inference, based on what i know now, is that whatever
society that has the technology to revive me is at least worth a short
sojourn. if i decide i don't like it, i can always kill myself then. yeah,
i might wake up a thousand years later and become an alien s/m sex slave
prevented from taking my own life ... but that could happen tomorrow too.
as to "extreme measures", i don't see what's so extreme about it.
i do take the trouble to feed myself don't i? do i *deserve* that food?
all that's involved in cryonic suspension, from my perspective, is just
some paperwork. i've done as much in the way of homework just to please
teachers. if one insists on dwelling on the state of one's body after one
goes, just consider the alternative -- rotting in a box in the ground?
> Unlike HAL in _2001_, I find nothing particularly alarming
> in the fact that my consciousness does, in fact, cease
> to exist every night when I'm in delta sleep. Nor do I
> find the prospect that the universe will go on for billions
> of years without me in it particularly alarming. **Strange**,
> yes, but no stranger than contemplating the fact that
> the unverse existed for billions of years **before** I came
> into it, or contemplating the unlikelihood that I should exist
> at all, or contemplating the fact that the person I was
> at age 5 or 15 has already almost altogether disappeared,
> and is only dimly reflected in the person I am now.
> In fact, I even get into moods sometimes in which I'm
> struck by the sheer strangeness of being limited to my
> own conscious **perspective** on the universe -- I'm overwhelmed
> by the thought of the sheer **simultaneity** of billions
> of other human beings going about their business at this
> exact moment, to say nothing about the trillions upon
> trillions of other biological organisms on this planet,
> and the unknown number of organisms, intelligent or otherwise,
> on other worlds throughout the universe. I mentioned this
> feeling once in an oddball telephone conversation I was
> having with a friend many years ago, saying something
> like "doesn't it ever make you feel **claustrophobic** to
> be stuck in your own infinitesimal corner of spacetime?",
> whereupon my friend asked "have you been dropping windowpane
> acid?" ;->
woah!! this is so cool! i feel like this, like, all the time! it's
like, i slap myself from time to time and say "i'm *me*!! how did i get
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:59 MDT